Friday, November 16, 2012

I Love Fall

I think I've always loved fall.  But I didn't realize how much I loved it until I went without it for 8 years.

Sure, it sort of visits Cali's central valley.  And there was one park in Fresno where we could go to see some yellowish leaves.  Every once in a while I would glimpse a tree on a parkway that would make me catch my breath at its vibrant colors as I drove by.  But our backyard trees didn't lose their leaves until Christmas.  And there was nothing spectacular about them.  

Here, fall is spectacular at every turn.  Driving to the grocery store is a treat because I get to speed up and down and around the hills that are blanketed in breathtaking hues.  Red and yellow, greens and orange--the orangey ones that are so bright they look florescent are my favorites.  I'll see an entire tree bursting with these colorful leaves.  It makes me wonder if it holds a secret.  One so powerful that it cannot be contained so it burns slowly out through the leaves like the smoldering embers of a dying fire.

There was such a tree in the church parking lot and I made my kids get out of the van to admire its beauty.  We scooped up some of the leaves that had fallen to the ground and brought them home with us.  By the next Sunday, the tree was completely bare, its powerful secret proving to be too strong for the tree's tenuous clutches.  But the memory of it will live on in these photos.
I'm enjoying fall so much this year that it almost makes up for missing it for so long.  And I wish I could think of something amazing to do with all these leaf photos. 
It makes me happy to see so many leaves everywhere.  I don't even mind them in the gutters.  (Of course, I'm not usually the one who has to climb the two story ladder to remove them.)
We've had some truly gorgeous fall days.  Fairly warm with a crispness in the air.  Those are the days when B stands at the window and exclaims, "Nice day, Mommy!" and then demands to go outside.  I don't try very hard to resist.

And after I've had my fill of taking pictures of trees and leaves and living things, I inevitably turn my camera her way.  Especially if she happens to be wearing a cute shirt instead of pajamas, and a head band (which is even more rare.)
She loves to collect leaves, and use them to fly like a 'birdie.'
When we'd had enough of flying and leaf collecting, we sat in the grass to simply enjoy the moment.  As we sat there reveling in the warmth of the sun on our skin, the wind slowly picked up.  It's sound began like the sluggish flow of water down a dry creek bed.  Then it increased in speed and volume until it sounded like a raging rainstorm was about to engulf us.  But the only things that began raining down on us were leaves.  Lots and lots of leaves.  They lost their grip on the trees and were carried by the wind.  Some of them twirled as the fell, some tumbled violently, and some soared far from the branches which had given them birth.
I love watching the different ways the leaves fall.  And I love watching B watch the leaves fall.  And I even love how the acorns come raining down from the trees after a gust of wind.  They make me laugh as they ding the roof of the van, or come so close to falling on our heads.  And it reminds me of how S saw a squirrel fall out of a tree soon after we moved in.  And when the acorns first started falling, we all wondered how we managed to get so many clumsy squirrels.  And then we remembered that Fall is not just limited to leaves.  And then we felt like dumb city folk.
We drove to a neighboring state so Shaggy could buy a replacement for his 27 year-old motorcycle which is his sole means of commuting to work.  It was a beautiful drive.  And I felt tortured that I couldn't stop and wander in the places we saw.  But we took a chance and did this run while the kids were in school, so we were under some serious time constraints.  I can't wait for next fall when we'll be able to explore the fall foliage further.  Nice alliteration, huh?
But for this year, sticking close to home was just fine. 
The trees are becoming increasingly bare as all their leaves fly away.  And we can totally see neighboring houses now.  Imagine that. 
I hope my children will inherit my love for fall.  So far, so good.  Except I'll have to give K and S more of a nudge to join our leaf play next year.  Or I'll make them rake.  Maybe both.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Such adorable little birds in their nest of leaves!!! I share your love of autumn even though our fall colors are not quite as vibrant and varied as yours.